This is a novel, set in Brighton Sussex, during the latter half of the nineteenth century. A fictional narrative is combined here, with factual evidence from my family history.

It is 1862 and Alfred Maurice Tyler is born into a lower middle-class family, with a strong belief in God. However, his difficult birth gives rise to medical problems which plague him all his life. As he grows from a happy, loving child into a young man, failure seems to be the presiding factor in his life, eventually leading to despair. All Alfred wants, is to be able to make his parents proud. He decides to emigrate to Canada, believing he will find happiness in a new life and meets a man, William Trout, with whom he develops a strong friendship, despite their extremely different backgrounds. 

Alfred and William succeed in their endeavours, until events cause Alfred to return to England, where life takes a dreadful twist.

Could the secret, kept from his parents when he was young, be the catalyst for what befalls him?


'When I’ve eaten, I walk down to the sea’s edge, take off my boots and socks, and paddle in the cool blue water. Waves lap over my feet and tickle between my toes. I scoop up handfuls of sea to splash my face and arms, bare in the day’s heat, and drink in the saltiness. I delight in the soft, gritty sand, the roundness of the pebbles made smooth by the sea, and listen for them rustling as the tide moves away. This’s where I belong, not in a closed building, unless it be home, but out in the fresh air, among God’s amazing creation. A westerly blows gently, so I turn to it, my face drying quickly, feeling tight with the saltiness. There’s a cloud on the horizon; a small baby cloud all fluffy and pure white, and it drifts slowly towards me on the wind. I watch the line between sea and sky and wonder what lies beyond that watery cliff.'


'I’ve just finished “When Darkness Falls” , incredibly moving and very sad. Difficult to put down, it was a thoroughly good read, very thought provoking, with lovely insight into 19th century life.' TS

'Thoroughly enjoyed this novel with it's insight into 19th century life, in fact I couldn't put it down.'

'Very well written book which appears to be well researched. Good insight into life in the 1890s. Well worth reading.'

'I found this book very rich and profoundly moving, I could not put it down. I was entrenched in the characters and the whole atmosphere instantly. A remarkable first novel! Thank you!' HH

'Tears and heartbreak, a story of hardship, tenderness, love and tragedy. An extremely thought provoking, beautifully written first novel, which I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.' JS